The Unknown Writing Contest Winner

Annie Newcomer.
Annie Newcomer
Star Rating
Reviewer's Rating
Feb 22, 2022

Johnson County Library is pleased to announce that Annie Newcomer has won our poetry writing contest on the theme of The Unknown with her piece "The Broken Plate: a Still Life." 

When we pause and wonder, I feel that we make better decisions for our world. It is easy to believe that the beauty of nature is invincible. But I believe it is tender and needs our care and not to be taken for granted. My nephew in Brooklyn, NYC created a beautiful collection of plates for my husband and self. Each is different and each is a work of art. When he gifted them to me, he was so excited to share that the plates were so well made that they could never break. When I returned home and unwrapped I saw a chip in one. I paused and started on a journey of reflection which led me down an ecological path.

Thank you, Annie Klier Newcomer


The Broken Plate: A Still Life  

  For Chih 

If we wonder often, the gift of knowledge will come. If we never wonder,
knowledge will never find us.
  ~ Arapaho Proverb

After my nephew swirled the colors,
glazed my gifts in red-rock he smiled
when handing them to me,
“Impossible to break.”

He'd dropped them before
and declared,
his universe of plates.

Fired at Cone 10, he'd waited
until the kilns' duty completed.
Love-warm, my heart
absorbed the heat.

So I brought them home,
unwrapped and began placing
them into the cupboard
only to discover,

one fallen star,
shards too delicate
for glue. Sadness triggered
a repressed fear:

an arch, collapsing
in a national park,
by the time my grandchildren
are born, might never see.

Reviewed by Helen H.
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